Ripton


RIPTON RESIDENT ANZA Armstrong was accompanied to the polls on Tuesday by her dog, Bailey. She and scores of other Ripton residents were asked if their town should withdraw from the Addison Central School District. The referendum passed, 163-107. Now residents in the six other ACSD communities will decide whether to affirm Ripton’s vote. Independent photo/Steve James
RIPTON — Ripton residents on Tuesday voted, 163-107, in favor of withdrawing from the Addison Central School District, while Weybridge residents opted against doing so by a 190-119 margin. The six other ACSD member towns must now vote in favor of Ripton’s bid to leave the district if the proposed exodus is to proceed to the Vermont Board of Education. The state board would then decide whether the town could become its own independent school district. Both the Ripton and Weybridge votes were triggered by citizens’ petitions seeking to prevent closure of their elementary schools. The ACSD board...

A YARD SIGN in Middlebury this week urges voters in Ripton to vote in favor of leaving the Addison Central School District. Independent photo/Megan James
This story was corrected after it was originally posted to correct an error. We found out after the story went to press that the ACSD had updated its FAQ on the Ripton and Weybridge secession votes, and that the two towns would not absolutely loose their small schools grants from the state if they left the school district. Instead, they could seek continuation of their Small School grants if ultimately the state granted them permission to continue as independent school districts. MIDDLEBURY — Ripton and Weybridge residents will go to the polls on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to decide whether they’d...
The Addison Independent received more letters regarding the upcoming ACSD secession votes than we had room to print in our Jan. 7 edition. Since the votes scheduled before our next print deadline,  here are all the letters on this subject — the ones we printed, plus the other that appear only here on our website. If we don’t trust ACSD leaders we should withdraw By Joanna Doria   Don’t overlook the intangibles that small schools provide By Saul Nurok   Keep Weybridge school open By Kelsey and Chris Eberly of Weybridge   Small schools face long odds By Jerry Shedd   Children are first priority...
Over the last few years, school consolidation has been a contentious issue in Addison County and across Vermont. For many of us, it has taken up a tremendous amount of mental energy, time, and resources; sometimes, it feels like every step forward is followed by two steps back. Some have blamed those who are advocating for small-town schools for a lack of definite progress, accusing us of “undermining the strength of our district,” having a “limited imagination,” and of “looking backward and not forward.” I have heard and read the buzz phrases: stronger together, one learning community, and...
At a special Ripton Town Meeting on Jan. 12, 2021, Ripton residents are being asked to vote on whether to leave Addison County School District. This special election was not the initiative of Ripton Select Board or School Board, it was sponsored by a group of genuinely concerned Ripton citizens organized as SOS, Save Our School, with the objective of leaving ACSD and preserving Ripton Elementary School. On Dec. 30, Stronger Together, also a group of genuinely concerned Ripton citizens, put together a website that describes the problems of leaving ACSD and the advantages of remaining within...
Regarding the closure of small schools: It appears as though closing small schools and cutting teacher positions will greatly impact our elementary school students by increasing class sizes and increasing commuting times. Are there any benefits? The district has not offered them. Furthermore, if the school district would be more transparent about costs, it would reveal that the high cost of education is directly linked to the high cost of health care, which closing small schools and increasing class sizes does little to address. Furthermore, I believe that the charter governing the ACSD...
For many years I have been part of the difficult work around school consolidation and facilities planning in ACSD. I continue to be as deeply committed to this work as I am to the work of ensuring high-quality education and related services for all our children in Addison Central. I write this letter, not as the Ripton Elementary School principal, rather as a Ripton resident, ACSD parent and concerned citizen. And, I write this letter with trepidation, as I acknowledge it may be upsetting to people I know as friends and neighbors. I believe the work our school board has done around short and...

RIPTON RESIDENT ERIN Robinson stands with her sons and a sign urging her fellow residents to vote in favor of a Jan. 12 referendum that could see her community begin the process of withdrawing from the Addison Central School District. Weybridge residents will field the same question on Jan. 12.
RIPTON/WEYBRIDGE — On Jan. 12 residents of Ripton and Weybridge will be asked if they’d like to withdraw their towns from the Addison Central School District (ACSD), in what has become a last-ditch, grassroots effort to prevent closure of their local elementary schools. “It’s been an adventure so far, and I think it’s going to be an even greater adventure as we go along,” said Millard “Mac” Cox, one of the residents who petitioned for the Ripton secession vote. “We’re just hoping that we can be successful, being the smallest town in the district. We have the least political power, but we’re...

WARREN KING in 2016 talking before he received the Otter Creek Audubon Society's Silver Feather award. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
ADDISON — On Friday the Agency of Natural Resources will honor Warren King for his long-time advocacy for wildlife. ANR Secretary Julie Moore will present the Sally Laughlin Endangered Species Award to King, a Ripton resident, on Friday at 2 p.m. at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison.  King has been active for decades with the Nature Conservancy, Vermont Audubon, National Audubon, Otter Creek Audubon, The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board, and almost any other organization involved in conservation in Vermont.  He has put in many hours of his own time searching out populations of...
RIPTON — At the Ripton Church on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 3 p.m., Nathaniel Victor Salzman, great-grandson of the late Rabbi Victor Reichert, Rabbi-in-residence at the Ripton Church for decades and closest friend of the poet Robert Frost, will marry Samantha Esteves Parisi in a small ceremony. Dr. Jonathan Reichert, the Rabbi’s son and grandfather of the groom will preside alongside Reverend George Clough, minister, from Middlebury.

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Addison County Independent